Have Roofing Issues? Know Who’s Responsible for Solving Them
If there are problems with the roof on a commercial building, who has the responsibility to resolve those issues? Is it the tenant or is it the landlord? Although it seems like an easy answer, don’t assume that it’s always the landlord’s responsibility. A lease may stipulate that the tenant is responsible for all “non-structural” repairs which could include roof repairs.
Read your commercial lease to determine who is responsible for maintaining and repairing the roof. In most cases, the landlord will be responsible for keeping the roof in good repair and will be required to pay for any necessary repairs or replacement. However, there may be some circumstances in which the tenant is responsible for roof repairs or maintenance.
- If the tenant causes damage to the roof through their own negligence or the negligence of a third party, they may be responsible for repairing that damage.
- Snow and ice removal from the roof, in many cases, is the responsibility of the tenant, especially if someone is injured as a result.
- Any capital improvements a tenant makes to the property that affect the roof, in accordance with the lease.
- If the lease agreement between the tenant and landlord specifically states that the tenant is responsible for roof repairs, then the tenant will be held accountable for any necessary repairs or maintenance.
Avoid Common Causes of Roof Damage
The truth is that the two biggest causes of damage to a commercial roof happen from weather or from other vendors who are working on your roof. This is often an unintended puncture created by another vendor who is working on your roof, especially for a roof that is less than 7 years old. Weather damage can create severe issues as a roof ages and materials reach their end of life.
It is always important for tenants to be aware of the condition of the roof and to notify the landlord of any problems that arise. Regular maintenance and repairs will help to extend the life of the roof and avoid expensive repairs down the road.
Things you can do to prevent costly damage include:
- Ensure you work with reputable and referenceable vendors
- Make sure everyone who requires rooftop access uses authorized roof access points and walkways designed to direct traffic safely to equipment.
- Require a base material like plywood or heavy tarps to protect your roof when work occurs on equipment on top of your roof.
- All trash and debris must be removed from the rooftop after any equipment repair and should be removed periodically by the tenant.
- Conduct a periodic rooftop walk around to inspect for punctures that may inadvertently occur during another repair.
Rubber roofs can mask roof damage, but that does not that there is no damage to the roof. A reputable vendor will report a repair or puncture immediately so additional damage does not occur from ignoring the issue. The longer damage goes unrepaired, the more expensive the repair will be, up to 80% more than repairing the roof at the time of the damage
If you are responsible for your rooftop equipment, make sure that there is no general operations issues that can create issues or damage to your roof. This includes chemical discharge and grease trap release.
Work Together to Protect Your Roof
Commercial landlords are usually responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property they rent out to tenants, including the structural integrity of the building and keeping the building in compliance with city ordinances and safety regulations. It is important for tenants to understand their responsibility for maintaining and repairing the roof, as well as what kind of damage is covered under their lease agreement.
Landlords and tenants should consult with each other if there are any questions or concerns about who is responsible for what when it comes to the roof. It is important for tenants to be aware of their responsibility level in order to avoid any potential conflict with their landlord. By working together, they can ensure that the roof is properly maintained and avoid any potential problems down the road.
Moser Can Help with Your Commercial Roofing Issues
A roof is the most critical component of any commercial building. It keeps the elements out and protects people and property inside. But when a roof sustains damage, it can be difficult to know where to turn. The first step should always be to call a reputable roofing contractor. Moser Roofing Solutions provides expert craftsmanship and quality materials as a leader in commercial and industrial roofing services throughout Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic region. Your roof protects your building, so we protect your roof.